Ħas-Sap­tan should not house new fuel fa­cil­i­ties - Front Ħar­sien ODZ

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Front Ħar­sien ODZ yes­ter­day said that be­cause of the ma­jor im­pacts found on ge­ol­ogy, ge­o­mor­phol­ogy, and agri­cul­ture, as well as the site’s des­ig­na­tion as an Area of Eco­log­i­cal Im­por­tance, as a Site of Sci­en­tific Im­por­tance and as hav­ing High Land­scape Value, new fa­cil­i­ties at Has-Sap­tan should not be per­mit­ted.

Front Ħar­sien ODZ said it un­der­stood the ur­gency of re­lo­cat­ing the cur­rent fuel de­pot from Birzeb­bu­gia and wel­comes the gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts to do so. How­ever, the Front re­quests fur­ther in­for­ma­tion as to why the ex­is­tent fa­cil­i­ties at Has-Sap­tan can­not be used as they are, with­out fur­ther in­fra­struc­ture be­ing built, as was promised by the pre­vi­ous Min­is­ter for En­ergy, Kon­rad Mizzi, in 2014.

The EPS states that, “it is prefer­able, for lo­gis­ti­cal and oper­a­tional ef­fi­ciency rea­sons, to lo­cate the dis­pens­ing fa­cil­ity close to an in­stal­la­tion that is able to store the fu­els be­ing dis­pensed” and that the con­struc­tion of new pipe­lines to Ras Hanzir would “raise the ap­pli­cant’s costs sig­nif­i­cantly and po­ten­tially ren­der the pro­ject un­fea­si­ble.” The Front re­quests a sci­en­tific study of the lo­gis­ti­cal and fi­nan­cial costs in­volved, and that fur­ther ex­pla­na­tion is pro­vided for why these would be un­fea­si­ble.

More­over the Front noted that the main rea­son for the ex­ten­sion of the fa­cil­i­ties is to min­i­mize the dan­ger in­volved in switch­ing on pumps in the un­der­ground stor­age tanks. Again the Front ex­pects fur­ther in­for­ma­tion on what kinds of pumps were con­sid­ered for the pro­ject, and how the risks were cal­cu­lated.

The Front ex­pected fully trans­par­ent and com­pre­hen­sive stud­ies be­fore any such pro­ject out­side devel­op­ment zones is given the green light.

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